history there have been many notable gemstones. Here are some of the
American Golden Topaz
topaz weighing 22,892.50 carats, making it the largest cut yellow
topaz in the world, as well as one of the largest faceted gems in the
world, period. On the left side in the above photo is the Lindsay
Uncut Topaz, weighing 70 lbs, and the one on the right is the Freeman
Uncut Topaz, weighing 111 lbs. All three stones are part of the
Smithsonian Museum's collection. A photo of the American Golden Topaz
in its display case. The sphere right along side it is the Golden
Topaz Sphere, which weighs 12,555 carats. The stone being held for
this photo, to show scale.
deep blue sapphire in this diamond and platinum necklace
by Cartier and was found in Sri Lanka.
The piece was
a gift to the Smithsonian Institute by Countess Mona von Bismark in 1967.
clarity and deep green color of the 37.82-carat Chalk Emerald ranks
among the very finest Columbian emeralds. According to legend, it was
once the centerpiece of an emerald and diamond necklace belonging to
a maharani of the former state of Baroda in India. The ring, in its
display case. It originally weighed 38.40 carats, but was re-cut and
set in a ring, by Harry Winston Inc. It is surrounded by sixty
pear-shaped diamonds (totaling 15 carats), The ring was a gift to the
Smithsonian Institute by Mr. and Mrs. O. Roy Chalk in 1972.
Star Ruby resides in the Natural History Museum in New York City. It
weighs 100.32 carats. In 1964 the Delong Star Ruby, along with the
Star of India, was the object of an infamous burglary carried out by
Jack Murphy, known as Murph the Surf, and two other men. They were
ransomed from $25,000 and both recovered. The Delong Star was found
at a designated drop off site - a phone booth in Florida.
Sapphire set in this necklace, along with a star sapphire
pendant-ring, went up for auction in April of 2002 at Sotheby's
Auction House. Both pieces belonged to Aron Gordon, the founder of
Gordon Jewelers. Here is what Sotheby's had to say about the piece:
"The pendant set with an emerald-cut sapphire weighing
approximately 50.00 carats, within a clustered frame set with 10
marquise-shaped, 26 pear-shaped, 7 round and 25 baguette diamonds
weighing approximately 14.50 carats, the necklace set with 51 round,
56 marquise-shaped and 4 pear-shaped diamonds weighing a total of
approximately 22.50 carats, mounted in platinum, length 17 inches,
pendant detaches, may be worn separately as a brooch."
Star Sapphire set in a pendant-ring that came up for auction at
Sothebys Auction House in April, 2002. This is what they had to say
about it: "The oval-shaped star sapphire cabochon weighing
approximately 52.00 carats, framed by 24 pear-shaped diamonds
weighing approximately 6.60 carats, mounted in platinum, ring shank
detachable, retractable pendant loop. Estimate: $7000 to $9000"
Aron S. Gordon
(1911-2001), was a native of Houston. Aron Gordon attended the
University of Texas and later worked for the family business,
Gordon's Jewelers, founded by his father in 1905. During World War
II, he joined the United States Navy and was stationed in Pearl
Harbor where he served as an officer on the staff of Admiral Chester
Nimitz. After the war, he returned home to resume his position in the
family business. In 1989, when the company was sold, Aron Gordon was Co-Chairman
of the Board. By that time, the Gordon Jewelry Corporation, with
over 600 stores, had become the second largest retail jeweler in the
country, and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
and his wife Anaruth were avid collectors and traveled extensively
from the late 1940s to 1989. They both served on the Board of
Trustees of The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. In addition, Aron
Gordon served on many boards as Director or Trustee, including the
Jewelers of America, the Jewelry Industry Council, the Houston
Symphony, and the National Jewish Hospital in Denver. In 1993, Aron
Gordon was elected into the Texas Business Hall of Fame. Both Aron
and Anaruth had been honored by St. Joseph's Hospital Foundation and
the Houston Youth Symphony & Ballet as Cultural Leader of the
Year. Anaruth Gordon passed away in 1995.
The Hixon Ruby
Crystal is a 196.10-carat gem. It was donated to the Natural History
Museum of Los Angeles in 1978 by Frederick C. Hixon. It is considered
to be one of the most perfect large ruby crystals in the world.
the finest sapphire gems came from Sri Lanka and Burma, and the same
is pretty much true today. Sri Lanka, nicknamed the "Gem
Island," has been an important source of sapphires, rubies, and
other gemstones for more than two thousand years. The stones that
have been eroded from Sri Lanka's central mountains are still plucked
by hand from gravel deposits that cover most of the southern half of
the island. Sapphires from Sri Lanka are typically light to medium
blue, and gemstones have been cut that weigh up to several hundred
carats. The National Gem Collection boasts one of the largest fine
blue sapphire gems, including the 422.99-carat Logan Sapphire from